Norfolk Sheriff’s Office holding free summer sports camps to keep kids out of trouble

Meet Your Counselors!

Want to meet two of your Joe Baron Foundation Summer Camp/Sports Camp counselors? Here they are! Parents, the camps are conducted in partnership with Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast, the Virginia Attorney General's Office, ODU, NSU, Norfolk Parks and Recreation, Norfolk Police Department, the Norfolk Fire Department, and the Norfolk Sheriff's Office. We're getting SO excited!

Posted by Norfolk Sheriff's Office on Wednesday, May 31, 2017

NORFOLK – Archery, football and baseball are just a few of the kinds of activities students can learn about at summer and sports camps organized by the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office.

The best part? The camps are totally free for any Norfolk Public Schools student aged 10 to 14.

The Sheriff Joe Baron Foundation Summer Camps program was created to help kids in the specified age range make healthy life choices, according to camp counselor Lt. Meryah Breeden.

“The sheriff feels like it’s a transitional age group,” Breeden said. “Studies have shown that kids that age can veer off in not so good directions. We want to give them good things to do and a positive experience with law enforcement so we can build and foster a better relationship with our community and the kids themselves.”

Partnering with the Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast, each camp is held at Camp Apasus, located at 8420 Granby St. Though the first week has filled, students can still register online for the second and third weeks of the program, which run from July 17–21 and July 24–28.

The summer camps run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m daily. Students can be dropped off at the camp or take shuttles from city schools to the camp each day. Each camper will be treated to breakfast and lunch.

Students will be able to launch a canoe in Mason Creek, work on their creativity with arts and crafts activities, learn about animals with the traveling Teeny Tiny Farm and take field trips to the Chrysler Museum and the Virginia Zoo.

Working with the Attorney General’s Office and the Norfolk Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, the students will also learn about bullying and how to avoid gang and violent activity.

“One of the important things is we teach the kids about bullying signs and warnings and how to deal with those situations in a safe way,” Breeden said.

The sheriff’s sports camps will take place from June 26–30, which each day focusing on a specific sport, including baseball, basketball and football.

“We have former and current players and coaches come out and speak to the kids about their careers, sports and how playing helped them stay on track and disciplined,” said camp counselor Cpl. Juan Serrano. “They also talk to the kids about working towards getting into colleges.”

Claudell Clark, the head baseball coach at Norfolk State University, says his staff looks forward to working with the kids on their baseball field every year. He says that the sheriff’s camp gives the students a great opportunity.

“Exposure – it’s all about exposing them to our campus and the college baseball setting,” Clark said. “It’s something that even kids who get out a lot don’t often have exposure to.”

As for college baseball, Clark said he thinks the camp helps show students some of the options they’ll have in the future.

“Hopefully the time they spend with us on the field sticks in their heads,” Clark said. “I hope that baseball sticks in their minds as an option through high school and into college.”

Sports campers will also visit Lake Taylor High School to brush up on their basketball skills and head to Old Dominion University to throw passes with football coach Bobby Wilder.

Students must register for the summer camps by June 30 and the sports camps by June 13. Applications can be filled out online or faxed to 757-441-5400.

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Amy Poulter has lived in more than a dozen cities – including New York, San Antonio, Austin, Orlando and Jersey City – but she was born right here in the Southside. Amy graduated from Old Dominion University and worked for The Virginian-Pilot and Princess Anne Independent News before joining Southside Daily. Before working as a multimedia journalist, she was a professional chef and musician. In her free time, Amy enjoys listening to music, reading, spending time at the beach and chasing her two pups around the park.